Serious concerns are emerging about the “botched and violent” police counter-terrorist stop and subsequent arrest of a Black man in Greenwich, just over a week after the death of Drummer Lee Rigby. After Counter Terrorism police performed a ‘hard stop’(1) on the car Husani Williams’ was driving, he was arrested for possession of a Class A drug. Williams submitted a defence statement in which he denied the cocaine possession charge and the CPS took the decision this week to drop that charge. The London Campaign against Police and State Violence (2) (LCAPSV) are now demanding that SO15 (3), the Metropolitan Police Service Counter-Terrorism Command, and SO19 (4), MPS’ Specialist Firearms Command should face an independent inquiry into their “brutal and unnecessary” use of force.
This summer, Jason, a young black man from South London, was assaulted by police officers in an unprompted attack. He had been using a public telephone when officers interrupted him and demanded he submit to a Stop and Search. When he refused, arguing the search was unjustified, officers pepper sprayed him, assaulted him and beat him to the ground. After this attack Jason was charged with obstructing a police officer.
In response, Jason and his family and friends called a number of protests outside Walworth Police Station, and Camberwell Magistrates Court, both in south London. Realising that the case of Jason was not an isolated incident, but part of the systemic criminalisation and harassment of black people by the police, these protests developed into the London Campaign Against Police and State Violence (LCAPSV).